The decision to go Moto
I have been a fan of Android phones since owning the original and awesome G1. Since then I have owned several, but never a nexus and for the last year I have been promising myself I would change that and buy whatever nexus is available come upgrade time. However when that time arrived I was torn. Nexus 5 looks good, but I was also tempted by the z1 and the z1 ultra. When Adrian suggested I wait until the MotoX arrived I looked at it and again was tempted, but in all honesty there is no way I was going to wait for anything…
However thanks to that suggestion I also contemplated the Moto G. It is clearly a budget phone, one look at the specs tells us that there are some clear areas where costs have been cut. Less ram, a slower processor, smaller camera, fewer built in sensors and some features are missing – but does that matter? I looked at the list and decided that for the extra £17 a month the z1 would cost, the extra features were not worth it and by choosing the Moto I would get android upgrades much faster even if not as fast as if I went nexus. Add in the 14 day returns policy on the phone and what did I have to lose?
Well that was back in January and I have now had a few months to try the phone out. First emotion was disappointment that the box did not come with a charger. I had one knocking around from all my other phones, so I guess you could argue it was not needed – but imagine I was coming from an iPhone? I would not have been happy. Other than that though, it is a nice looking phone. It is smaller than I was used to, and with no memory slot for expansion there are limitations from the off but I knew that before I bought it. It did not have KitKat out of the box, but that was available within a couple of weeks so I did not get chance to miss it much.
The phone is inexpensive and therefore the screen is one of the main parts that has been trimmed back. It is not that big by today’s standards and the resolution is lower than many. It is bright and the colour depth is good, and to be honest it looks as clear as any at a usable distance. You have to get pretty close to be able to see the pixels and at that distance I can barely force my eyes to focus on them.
This is another area that is often cut in budget phones. Despite the low cost, the camera is not excellent but is surprisingly good. At 5 megapixels and with a flash, the camera is more than capable of recording your family moments. The controls are slightly different than most android phones. Simply tap anywhere on screen to take the photo instead of having to find a button. The autofocus let’s it down occasionally, but if you take a second to define the focal point by dragging an icon around the screen you can negate this. The burst function (simply hold your finger on the screen to take multiple shots) is very helpful when producing “auto awesome” photos from animations to the selecting of best smiles. Utilising the great features of Google+ photos really help boost the camera’s output.
I was very dubious of the battery life of the Moto G, 2070mAh does not sound a lot – however it became very quickly apparent that it is actually rather good. With a single over night charge, it is more than capable of lasting the following day with moderate use which for me includes leaving syncing enabled, some web use, some Ingress, emailing and navigation during commutes. At the end of my day the phone is usually still showing 30-40% charged. Not too shabby.
All in all, this is a great little phone. I have not yet missed the extra flexibility that I achieved through rooting and installing custom ROMs, although being on the latest version of android helps with that. At a little over £100, it is not so expensive that I couldn’t afford to buy out my contract should a decent nexus or other alternative come out in the next 12 months but as things stand I can not see me needing to. If you must have a super powerful phone that is cutting edge and full of all the bloating apps that Samsung fans seem to crave then this is not for you. If you are looking to save some money or just for a decent phone that can see you through to the next nexus then you could do much worse than this, and I highly recommend this great little phone.